It’s officially winter and it’s also the holiday season – is your car ready for all those road trips?
Before heading out to visit family and friends long distance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you check your vehicle before heading out and to drive with extra caution this season. Here is a list to go over before you hit the roads and make merry with loved ones.
Routine Car Service:
• To ensure your car is running in tip-top condition, drop by your mechanic for a tune-up and routine maintenance.
• Your car’s battery doesn’t like the cold. Battery power tends to drop when it gets colder, so be sure your battery is ready for the chilly months ahead.
• While you’re at the garage, check your battery for sufficient voltage, have the charging system and belts inspected and tighten the battery cable connections.
• If you drive an electric car with a gasoline backup system, make sure you’ve got a supply in the vehicle, in case you run out.
• Make sure your coolant can stand up to cold winter temperatures and make sure you have enough at all times.
• Check the cooling system for leaks.
• Your coolant system should be flushed every couple of years. If it’s been awhile, now’s the time to do it.
Windshield Wipers and Defrosters:
• Fill up on high-quality, no-freeze fluid and keep an extra bottle in the car – you’ll go through plenty of it in the winter.
• Replace worn blades with heavy-duty winter wipers.
• Check that front and rear window defrosters are working properly.
• Because tire pressure drops when it gets colder, check tire pressure frequently and make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s suggested PSI of air pressure.
• Take a close look at your tire treads and replace ones that have uneven wear or insufficient tread.